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Oman Business News

Two new industrial cities on the anvil in Sultanate

A new, predominantly minerals-based industrial city is proposed to be established in mineral-rich Thamrait in Dhofar Governorate, according to Hilal bin Hamad al Hasani, CEO — Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn).

Thamrait Industrial City is one of two greenfield industrial parks — the other being proposed at Shinas in North Al Batinah — that will be developed by private investors in line with Madayn’s new strategy envisioning a prominent role for the private sector in the development and operation of Oman’s industrial cities.

“We will float a tender before the end of June inviting private investors to develop industrial cities in Thamrait and Shinas,” said Al Hasani. “Thamrait, located around 100 km from Salalah Port, will mainly cater to mineral-based investments and those industries that cannot be accommodated within Raysut Industrial City or Salalah Free Zone. It will initially cover an area of around four million square metres, but will be expanded in the future.”

The official made the announcement in comments to journalists on the sidelines of the Arab Investment Forum and Exhibition, which opened at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday.

Shinas Industrial City, on the other hand, will be positioned as a hub for food-related investments, said the official, citing its proximity to the rich agricultural farmland of the Batinah region, as well as Sohar Port and Freezone nearby.

Meanwhile, Madayn is also making headway in the privatisation of its first industrial city — at Rusayl in Muscat Governorate, according to Al Hasani. “Rusayl Industrial City is already privatised, but it’s just a matter of time before we offload 49 per cent to the private sector. The balance 51 per cent will be retained by Mubadrah, which is Madayn’s wholly-owned holding company. The 49 per cent will go the private sector perhaps by next year,” he said.

Asked if part of the equity will be offered to the general public via an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM), the CEO replied: “In future, yes! That’s what we are aiming for. In fact, we have a programme through to 2023 for the privatization of our industrial cities, and Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM).”

Madayn, he said, is also planning to inject more than RO 50 million in the expansion, as well as development and modernization of Rusayl Industrial City’s infrastructure, over the next four years.
  • Industrial City
  • Minerals
  • Thamrait
  • Greenfield Industrial Parks
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